Are results waning? Is your team not quite performing as efficiently as it once was? Can you not put your finger on the reason why?
These are questions that almost every team leader has had at one point or another, and it’s no fun when it is a superior that is asking those questions. In moments such as this there are two things that you can do as a team leader – either, you can call a team meeting and demand that performances are raised or you can call a team meeting and ask questions.
The fatal mistake that many managers make is to try and almost scare their employees into working harder. That hardly ever works and, even if it does in the short-term, staff retention is almost certain to drop. That is why managers and employers must take the time to sit and listen to the concerns of their members of staff.
Morale Affects Productivity
A happy team is a productive one, which means that an unhappy team is anything but. There could be all manner of reasons why the team is suffering from a lack of morale – such as issues outside of the workplace, friction between team members, a high turnover of staff or a lack of motivation amongst others.
As a manager, you have a duty to make yourself aware of any issues in the team and make yourself as approachable as possible for staff to come and talk to you. If employees do not feel as though they can come to their manager with an issue that could affect their performance in the workplace, something needs to be done.
Absence and Lateness
One big sign of a lack of morale are the emergence of absence and late arrivals, especially if it is from members of staff that otherwise had an unblemished record. Equally, members of the team that otherwise religiously turn up early that begin to only show up dead on time – although you do have to be careful how you approach this as they are still adhering to their contractual obligations.
Even the very best of teams sometimes miss their target, that’s life, but if a team or individual has missed multiple targets then some action should be taken. If the team or staff member previously had a reputation for hitting targets, sit down and have an informal conversation with them before hitting them with the numbers.
Staff need to feel looked after by their employer. If they don’t, they will look for pastures new and take with them the skills and expertise they have developed with you at another business elsewhere.
Keep Morale High
The best means of addressing poor morale is to keep morale high in the first place. Keep the workplace fun and exciting with regular team building events and activities, such as those offered by Catalyst Team Building, that challenge your members of staff in new ways. This can help to form and build new relationships in the team that can help to transform the workplace for the better.
Additionally, offering non-financial incentives is another popular method of keeping morale high. Examples of this include offering extended lunch breaks and/or finishing early if a project or work has been completed early, as well as management buying treats or rewarded members of staff.
People like to be acknowledged for their work, so make sure they know that their good work does not go unnoticed.